Vendor Newsmaker Q&A: Diane Nesprido

Jan. 1, 2020
Diane Nesprido is senior product manager with Permatex.

Product manager with Permatex speaks out.

Diane Nesprido Permatex

How has your company's No Touch brand been received by the industry?

The No Touch brand has been pretty successful in developing its niche and has established a strong, loyal customer base. I think that speaks well for the product line. Customers that use No Touch have generally been car enthusiasts and want to keep their vehicles looking good. So Permatex wants to continue and invest in growing the brand by developing new product extensions and promotions. We just kicked off a full line ad campaign in print and online, targeting our real customers who like to keep their cars looking good. We've also recently launched our interactive web site (www.bestdressednation.com), which is dedicated to our No Touch products and connects with our valued customers who want to be a part of the No Touch community and upload photos of themselves with their vehicles. They have a chance to win gift cards to auto parts stores and they can learn more about our products. We even have a store locator page that directs them to retail outlets. So far, our campaign has been well received. This is the first major consumer campaign conducted by Permatex in many years, and it comes at a time when most companies are holding back.

We want to be ready when things start picking up again.

The aftermarket's changed a lot over the past year or two. How do you foresee it changing in the upcoming year?

We're halfway through 2009 now and obviously tough economic times continue to hit us in one way or another. And that includes our customers and our end users. We understand that our customers have been very cautious with inventory levels the past couple of months and last year. Fortunately, we're seeing orders starting to pick up and I'd like to think that's a sign things are improving. Fortunately for us, we're fairly well diversified in our product mix and our categories with No Touch appearance, Fast Orange hand cleaners and our do-it-yourself repair kits as well as our gasketing sealants, adhesives and threadlockers. Permatex is a 100-year-old company with a strong brand name and we're thankful to have a strong loyal end user base and appreciate our customers' business. I'm hopeful and optimistic that the next couple of years will be positive and bring continued growth.

A recent report cites a projected increase in aftermarket sales in 2010. Do you agree with this assertion?

Much of that will depend on the economic climate, however, I would agree with that projection, though I think it will be modest. We should all remain positive, and I think '09 has pushed us to reevaluate our strategies and have given us an opportunity to realign our resources, so that we're more efficient and focusing on the most important projects. I believe new product development will be the key to success. We want to develop our strong brands and create products that customers need and want. Over the past century, Permatex has survived tough times on many occasions. I think it's because we have high quality brands and our customers believe in us.

How do you see technology influencing the development of your company's product lines?

Permatex continues to investigate new innovative technologies and concepts. We've invested in new packaging and new delivery systems to help customers get the job done right the first time around, such as our Gel Twist, a gel threadlocker with a pinpoint applicator that's non-drip and easy to use, and our foaming gasket remover with a brush-top tip. We're always seeking ways to improve our existing technologies. For example, we just re-introduced our Black and Blue RTV silicones with a low odor formulation. This allows us to keep the performance intact, but remove the strong scent that bothered some of our end-users. Permatex has also launched a new innovative No Touch tire dressing, called No Touch Turbo Wet – it's a longer lasting aerosol tire shine that lasts four times longer than some of the leading competitors. It even lasts through rainfall and car washes.

We're also looking at other revolutionary concepts and technologies that I can't really discuss but that are exciting and I hope I can share with our customers soon.

Have environmental regulations affected the way your products are produced?

Permatex is involved and well aware of all upcoming regulation changes. We're regular members of key automotive aftermarket associations such as the AASA (Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association) and ASPA, which monitors VOC changes in various states. We understand the value of developing environmentally friendly products, and are committed to that task whenever we're evaluating new products. However, our goal is to make sure that while the products are easy on the environment and the end user, their performance is effective enough to do the job right. This is very important to us.

In '08, Permatex launched the B-Force line; it's an environmentally friendly lubricant made from a renewable feedstock base. It's formulated for use in the home, auto and industrial applications. Environmental issues have also sparked us to investigate a better alternative for our aerosol gasket maker product. We've since launched a VOC compliant fast foaming gasket remover with an innovative delivery system. In '09, Permatex launched Permabsorb, environmentally friendly, multi-purpose cellulose absorbent that absorbs oil, coolant, brake fluid and solvents spills. It is made from 100-percent reclaimed unbleached wood cellulose fiber and contains no carcinogens. Before these new products, Permatex had already been making environmentally friendly products such as our Fast Orange biodegradable citrus hand cleaner. As we continue to look into new products, we'll also continue to ensure that they are environmentally friendly and safe for our end-users.

Any other company news you'd like to share?

The DIY market continues to (grow) considerably along with our consumers' interest in fixing their vehicles. We want to make sure we give them easy-to-use tools to solve common problems and save money. We're dedicated to further developing our DIY line of repair kits and add on to great products we've launched in the past such as our headlight lens restoration kit, which helps clear up cloudy headlights and our wheel restoration kit that enables users to make damaged wheels look new again. We're also very excited as we prepare to rollout our DIY repair kit media campaign that will commence in '09 and fully roll out in 2010. It will include an interactive Web site dedicated to providing our customers repair solutions, and it will give them videos to help guide them through the repair process. Beyond the kits, we're also continuing to seek out job-specific chemical tools such as the Right Stuff One-Minute Gasket, an advanced leak-proof form-in-place gasket maker that seals instantly. The Right Stuff's been around for awhile and we want to make sure we get it in peoples' hands and that they understand its benefits. We also just launched our Ultra Cherry fast acting cherry-scented waterless hand cleaner. We have a pretty good mix of products that have just come out and we're pretty excited.

Do you see an increase in the DIY marketplace?

I definitely see that growing. People are watching what they spend, and they're willing to try it out themselves and find solutions that are at a cost savings to them. I think we're well positioned to help the DIYers as well as the professional technicians. We have a wide variety of DIY repair kits along with a full line of gasketing products that have been around for a long time and techs are currently using. We're a well-known brand and we're reliable.

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